Best Bar Prep Courses

Written by: Will Bond

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Best Bar Prep Courses

Looking to become a fully licensed attorney? Passing the bar exam is a pivotal step in the journey to qualifying, but in order to pass, you’ll need the right resources at your side.

In this article, we’ll explore the best bar prep courses to take advantage of on your path to the bar, breaking down the pros and cons of these top five options.

The 5 Best Bar Prep Courses

In the table below, we’ve broken down the top features of each of our bar prep course recommendations.

Best Bar Prep Courses Top Features
Kaplan 4.8/5 Best Overall Course
  • Over 90% pass rate for first-time takers
  • Unlimited live lectures, essay grading, and 4,000 MBE questions
  • Classes guided exclusively by licensed attorneys with years of experience
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BarMax 4.4/5
  • Over 50 hours of lectures created by Harvard alumni
  • More than 1950 real MBE questions, essay questions, and performance tests
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Barbri 4.1/5
  • Offers high-quality, flexible private tutoring, both in person and online
  • Barbri has a track record of nearly 50 years in bar exam preparation
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Bar Prep Hero 3.8/5
  • Detailed model answer for each of the thousands of practice questions
  • Quite affordable pricing
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Quimbee 3.6/5
  • Comes with a rigid, 11-week study schedule
  • More than 4,000 practice questions, past bar exams, and 200+ video lessons
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1. Kaplan: Best Overall Course

Kaplan’s prep courses take our top spot when it comes to bar exam preparation. This widely renowned company offers a range of different educational packages of the highest quality for the bar exam.

Whatever your learning style, Kaplan will offer a course with the resources and price point that meet your needs and will help you to excel.

Kaplan Pros

  • Wealth of Resources: In addition to over 4,000 MBE practice questions, Kaplan’s prep courses allow students to have access to an expansive library of pre-recorded video lectures, live courses ranging between four and seven hours per day, and unlimited essay grading. It’s also one of the only providers to offer private online or in-person tutoring sessions
  • Experienced Staff: All the instructors on Kaplan’s courses are highly qualified lawyers with years of professional experience. This wealth of real-world expertise enables them to infuse their instruction with practical insights, and ensure you have a robust learning experience tailored to your needs
  • High Pass Rate: Kaplan’s comprehensive approach to bar exam preparation is highly effective among candidates — with over 90% of students who completed at least 75% of a Kaplan course’s assigned work achieving a passing grade on the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE)
  • Wide Availability: Kaplan’s flexible scheduling options, coupled with the number of states it provides comprehensive bar prep courses for, ensure accessibility for students regardless of the jurisdiction they’re based in
  • Value-for-Money: Even though Kaplan’s packages are not the cheapest, their high pass rate, experienced staff, and wide pool of resources make them a very high value-for-money option

Kaplan Cons

  • No Self-Study Option: Kaplan’s comprehensive courses offer an abundance of live and on-demand resources and support but lack a self-study option. This may limit flexibility for students who prefer to learn at their own pace or have busy schedules that don’t align with structured course offerings

Final Overview

Overall, Kaplan’s bar exam courses emerge as our top choice for aspiring lawyers seeking comprehensive preparation for this challenging milestone. With a wealth of resources, experienced instructors, a high pass rate, and wide availability, Kaplan stands out as a leader in bar exam preparation.

While the absence of a self-study option may pose a concern for some students, Kaplan’s structured courses, coupled with its personalized tutoring sessions and flexible scheduling options, offer credible solutions to address this limitation.

Additionally, the abundance of live and on-demand resources provided by Kaplan ensures that students will have ample support and guidance throughout their preparation journey.

Recommended Course

Kaplan’s bar exam preparation materials come with a free retake guarantee, interactive and flexible learning, and lawyer-led tutoring.

4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan ($1,699+)

If you’d like more information, check out our Kaplan Bar Review article.

2. BarMax

Founded by Harvard Law School alumni, BarMax’s catalog of options have been designed by experts to help meet a range of learning needs and goals, regardless of the budget.

BarMax Pros

  • Diverse Instruction Methods: BarMax’s students will be able to access lessons over 50 hours of lectures created by Harvard alumni, as well as more than 1950 real Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) questions, essay questions, and performance tests approved by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE)
  • Personalized Writing Feedback: As part of this course, students are able to receive personalized feedback on their writing from former bar examiners, which greatly enhances the quality and effectiveness of their preparation
  • Study Anywhere: The entire BarMax course is available on-the-go from their app — which allows you to access their materials wherever you are, regardless of whether or not you have access to the internet
  • Lifetime Access: After purchasing BarMax’s prep course, you’ll be granted lifetime access to its materials, though the course makers are sure students won’t need it anywhere close to that long

BarMax Cons

  • No Live Classes: While BarMax’s self-paced courses are great for more independent learners, the lack of live classes (and even video lectures) do make it less suitable for students that prefer more direct instruction and guidance in their studies

Final Overview

While the absence of live classes may deter some students seeking more focussed instruction, BarMax’s self-paced courses cater well to independent learners. Additionally, the availability of personalized writing feedback from former bar examiners adds significant value to the course.

Ultimately, BarMax’s innovative use of technology and commitment to providing high-quality study materials make it a strong contender in the realm of bar exam prep. With diverse instruction methods, personalized writing feedback, study flexibility, and lifetime access to course materials, it represents a solid option for students looking to prepare for the bar exam.

3. Barbri

Barbri’s courses made our list due to this provider’s long history of providing bar exam preparation materials to students.

With three distinct packages to choose from, Barbri’s range of tailored solutions ensure you’ll be able to find the perfect fit for your bar exam preparation journey.

Barbri Pros

  • Comprehensive Curriculum: All of Barbri’s bar preparation courses come with more than 2,000 MBE questions, tailored essay marketing, MEE and MPT workbooks, and bar application advice. Additionally, students can gain access to additional courses such as essay workshops, for an extra fee
  • Long Track Record: Barbri’s name has been synonymous with bar exam preparation for nearly half a century. This history allows them to continuously refine and adapt their course offerings to evolving exam formats and student needs, ensuring that they remain at the forefront of bar exam preparation excellence
  • Flexible Course Offerings: Students aren’t locked into one format for learning like some other bar preparation courses — instead, they’re able to switch as they please between watching lessons on-demand, live online, or in-person options
  • Excellent Private Tutoring: Barbri offers its students the ability to add high-quality, flexible private tutoring, which is available both in person or online. This can be a highly effective way to improve as it allows students to receive personalized attention tailored to their individual learning needs and pace

Barbri Cons

  • High Price Tag: While Barbri offers a range of high-quality materials, they are accompanied by a high price tag. Regardless of the package you choose, Barbri will be one of the most expensive options on this list, with prices that start at $1,999
  • Old School Approach: While a long track record is normally a good thing, it can have downsides. Many Barbri students complained that it utilized a very old school, book-heavy approach to learning — with the video lessons being quite boring at times

Final Overview

In conclusion, Barbri presents itself as a solid option for bar exam preparation, boasting a comprehensive curriculum, a long-standing reputation in the industry, flexible course offerings, and the option for private tutoring. However, while Barbri’s extensive experience and range of resources are commendable, there are factors to consider before making a decision.

The high price tag associated with Barbri’s courses may deter some prospective students, especially when comparable options are available at a lower cost. While Barbri remains a reputable choice with a proven track record of success, individuals seeking a more modern, engaging, and cost-effective approach to bar exam preparation may find better alternatives among the options on this list.

4. Bar Prep Hero

Our next recommendation stands out from the rest of the courses on this list due to its divergence from the traditional model adopted by most bar review companies.

Unlike formal instructional courses that emphasize content review, Bar Prep Hero prioritizes practice, immersing students in a plethora of practice problems and encouraging thorough review of each in order to foster a deep understanding of the material through active engagement.

Bar Prep Hero Pros

  • Great for Practice Material: Bar Hero Prep has designed its courses around a singular focus on practice questions. This review course meticulously curates thousands of multiple-choice questions, as well as over 1,600 related flashcards, to allow students to become familiar with the structure of the bar exam
  • Excellent Model Answers: As part of its prioritization of practice questions, Bar Prep Hero also provides a detailed model answer for each practice question. These model answers serve as invaluable resources, offering concrete examples of the criteria graders use to evaluate responses to bar exam questions
  • Affordability: This is the most budget-friendly option available to students, with its courses typically ranging between $100 to $300 in price

Bar Prep Hero Cons

  • Lack of Formal Instruction: Due to its focus on practice questions, the lack of true hard content review (e.g., books, video lessons, or live classes) can render this option heavily unsuitable for students that require a more directed approach to their learning
  • Limited Access to Materials: Bar Prep Hero’s most economical options are only accessible to students for a one-year access. For part-time learners this is a major consideration, as you may not have time to utilize it properly before your access expires

Final Overview

Bar Prep Hero presents itself as a unique option in the realm of bar exam preparation, with a distinct emphasis on practice questions that fosters active engagement and comprehension.

While it offers a plethora of practice materials and excellent model answers at an affordable price point, the lack of formal instruction and limited access to materials may pose challenges for students seeking a more structured approach to learning or those with time constraints.

While Bar Prep Hero is an attractive budget-friendly option for some, there are better alternatives available on this list that offer a more comprehensive approach to bar exam preparation. It’s crucial for prospective students to assess their priorities and select the course that aligns best with their goals and study preferences.

5. Quimbee

In the context of preparing for the bar exam Quimbee emerges as a notable contender, offering a range of great value study materials designed to guide students from law school through to success on the bar exam.

Quimbee Pros

  • Comprehensive Study Materials: With over 4,000 practice questions, including a substantial portion from past bar exams, and more than 200 video lessons, Quimbee’s 11-week study schedule is designed to equip candidates for success on the UBE, California Bar Exam, or Florida Bar exam
  • Marked by Attorneys: Quimbee also offers personalized feedback on each essay and practice exam, graded by experienced attorneys — ensuring that candidates receive tailored guidance and support as they navigate the complexities of bar exam preparation
  • Assistance After Passing: Moreover, Quimbee’s support extends far beyond bar exam preparation, with continuing legal education (CLE) resources that are available for students that have passed the bar and already started their legal career

Quimbee Cons

  • No Money Back Guarantee: Unlike many other providers on this list, Quimbee does not offer a money back guarantee on its base course options — this is only reserved for their more expensive bar review and MBE packages
  • Lack of Flexibility: While Quimbee’s course calendar meticulously outlines every subject and task within the course, its rigidity may pose a challenge to many students as it requires adherence to a fixed schedule without much room for flexibility or customization

Final Overview

Although Quimbee offers a comprehensive array of study materials and personalized feedback from experienced attorneys, it may not be the optimal choice for all prospective bar exam candidates.

For many students, the lack of a money-back guarantee on its base course options and the rigidity of its course calendar will be big deterrents.

Additionally, while Quimbee’s assistance extends beyond bar exam preparation to include continuing legal education (CLE) resources, there are simply better alternatives available to help you pass the bar exam if you’re willing to invest just a little more.

Best Bar Prep Courses FAQ

Is Kaplan a good bar prep course?

Yes, Kaplan is a highly regarded and reputable bar prep course. In addition to offering comprehensive study materials, a wealth of practice questions, and experienced instructors, it also boasts a high pass rate among students. For more information about this exam, see our What is the Bar Exam guide.

What is the most popular bar prep course?

Kaplan is often considered the most popular complete bar review course among students, along with others such as BarMax, Bar Prep Hero, and Themis bar review. It’s also statistically one of the best bar review courses, with more than 90% of its students passing the bar exam on their first try.

Is Kaplan or Barbri better for bar prep?

Both Kaplan and Barbri are reputable options for bar prep, offering comprehensive study materials and experienced instructors. The choice between these two bar exam review courses will ultimately depend on the individual’s preferences and learning styles.

Which bar prep course is the best for me?

When it comes to bar exam review courses, the best option for you will depend on your individual needs, preferences, and learning style. It’s important factors such as course content, instructional methods, support resources, and price to determine the best fit for your preparation journey. For a more detailed look at our top recommendations, check out our Best Bar Exam Prep Courses article.